Monday, June 11, 2007

Mangoes with Sticky Rice - Vietnamese Style

I seem to be on a mango tangent lately. But hey, while they're in season, I think mangoes should be savored as much as possible. I've made mango salsa, green mango salad, mangoes in my sweet, sour, salty, spicy tropical fruit salad, mango bread, and now mangoes with sticky rice - Vietnamese style.

I just bought my third case of mangoes this year -- 19 champagne mangoes for $6.99. I much prefer the smaller mangoes because they have less fiber and thinner skins. For these pictures though, I actually used the bigger mangoes I bought at the American grocery stores because it was on sale. The bigger red and green mangoes are better unripened for the green mango salad. While they're bolder in taste, they're often too fibrous and many times have these strange dark brown fibers.

Why is this Vietnamese style? Because with Thai-style mangoes with sticky rice, the sticky rice is drier, not too sweet or coconutty. I've always felt the rice was too bland. And it always seemed to me that I was simply eating mangoes with rice. Nothing special.

So instead, I've adapted this recipe as a cross between xoi (Vietnamese sticky rice) and che (Vietnamese dessert soup). The result is something much more dessert-like.

Mangoes with Sticky Rice - Vietnamese Style

For two people, you'll need:
1 mango
1 cup of sticky or glutinous rice
1 can of coconut milk
1 tblsp corn starch
1 tblsp crushed peanuts or walnuts
a pinch of salt

Wash sticky rice and drain liquid. You can make the coconut sticky rice in two ways. The simplest is to make 1 cup of sticky rice in the rice cooker, adding 3 tblsp of coconut powder. About halfway through the cooking, give it a quick stir to fully dissolve and mix the coconut powder. Or substitute half of the required amount of water with coconut milk. I usually do a 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup coconut milk ratio. (Remember to shake your can of coconut milk first before opening it.) Cook in rice cooker as normal.

Or if you don't have a rice cooker, you can cook on the stove at medium low heat. To measure, touch the tip of your index finger to the surface of the rice grains and fill enough water and coconut milk so that it reaches the first notch of your index finger. This should take about 15 minutes to cook.

(Psst! I just love the taste of coconut rice period, so you can make several cups of rice with 1 can of coconut milk and eat it with other dishes. This goes really well with Vietnamese braised dishes.)

While the rice is cooking, peel mango and slice off the two big cheeks on the sides. Slice sideways and arrange on plates. Refrigerate.

When the rice is done, fluff it up with a spoon. If it seems a little dry, and you'll actually want this as you don't want mushy rice, just add a little more coconut milk. Allow the rice to cool down and it will absorb more of the flavor and aroma of the added coconut milk.

Add 1 tblsp of cornstarch to the remainder of the coconut milk and heat it on medium low on the stove top. In about 5 minutes, the mixture should thicken. Set aside.

Put about 1 tblsp of peanuts or walnuts and a pinch of salt into a sandwich bag. Crush the nuts with a rolling pin, or keep it in the bag and crush it in your mortar and pestle.

To serve, remove the plates of chilled mangoes from the fridge. Add a nice big scoop of rice. Top with the coconut milk sauce. Sprinkle the crushed salty nuts on top.

The warmth of the sticky rice is such a great contrast with the chilled mangoes. Enjoy!


  1. i tried the thai version at noodle world and didnt like it at all.

    what was i thinking when i ordered it?

    there wasnt much desserts on the menu, thats why.


  2. This looks delicious! Are champagne mangoes those ones with the yellowish skin? Did you get them at 99 Ranch?

    When I traveled through Thailand, the mangoes were yellow, much sweeter, and less stringy than the kind that we typically get in US supermarkets (those green and red ones).

  3. How nice to have a VN version! I made the Thai version without the proper bamboo thingy and it was okay, but.... Looking forward to trying out your version!

  4. this looks good. yeah i've eaten a thai version before too at a restaurant. :) yummi. it was similar w/ sticky rice mangos and nuts and coconut milk.

  5. Malaysian has the same dish, but not with Mango, with DURIAN!! Yes, it's really good. :)

  6. I'd love to teach this recipe in my next cooking class! It looks so easy and delicious.

  7. Wow so many mangos, I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to make this dish and now I have a recipe. :) thanks!

  8. I wish we had decent mangos here! This looks really good. I have to admit - I haven't eaten mangos with rice before! Durian yes, but not mangos!

  9. I agree with Rasa Malaysia. DURIAN! Actually Thai Nakorn has both. Durian with sweet rice, and mango with sticky.

  10. I need to buy my first case of mangoes since I like mangoes a lot :)
    I've tried the Thai version of this dessert-mangoes and durian version, but not Viet style.

    Hahah...we made entirely different food this time BUT you know what? We did some "cross-over" of 2 cuisines!!! Buahahah....too funny!

  11. WC, market this to Noodle World, charge them 2.50/an order hahaha, they'll still make another 2.5 considering they sell this for 5 bucks a pop dang ! oo..both the rice and the mango looked super delicious :)

  12. t,
    Noodle World's version is pretty standard for Thai mangoes with sticky rice. Just ordinary rice huh?

    Yup. :) I like them better b/c they don't have fibers, but I do like the taste of the bigger mangoes.

    It's totally made up. But it becomes VNese by virtue of the fact that I made it up. ;)

    Darn! You mean this sweeter version isn't my invention? Hehe.

    I can't do fresh durian. The smell! The smell!

    Well, you've got the coconut rice part down now. I'm sure you can figure out the slicing mango part. ;)

    It's so easy. No recipe really needed. Ha!

    Does that mean you're Malaysian?

    I always thought sweet and sticky rice were the same thing?

    Are we gonna go through all the things we make that aren't the same now? :)

    Ha! They're not interested in my recipe, they've got plenty of their own.

  13. I have tried once mango with sticky rice when my Thai classmate made it for the class. :) I have yet to try the vietnamese style.

  14. Cooking Ninja,
    The Vietnamese style is totally my own creation so I don't know if it'll suit anyone else's taste except my own. :)

  15. Looks good...I'd make it now but I already ate....DANG IT!

  16. Cringe Schrapnel,
    You can make it for breakfast! I love eating it for breakfast.

  17. u can eat a whole case by urself?! i'm too scared to try but some places only sell by the box :( i havent' gotten any mangoes this year. the season seems low yield? i haven't seen that many....

  18. Van,
    Not just one case but many. This year the mangoes have been very lackluster. Almost twice as expensive and half as good. I haven't been very happy with the mangoes this year. :(


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